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Sen. Brown Calls Trump's Infrastructure Plan 'A Lost Opportunity'

Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Associated Press
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown

President Trump’s infrastructure plan is underwhelming Ohio’s Democratic U.S. Senator, who had said it was an issue he hoped he and the White House could work on together

Sen. Sherrod Brown says the 10-year Trump plan to rebuild things like roads, bridges and broadband is underwhelming. His chief criticism is that less than 15 percent of the $1.5 billion price tag would come from the federal government – and that will consist largely of a shift in current spending.

Brown says a more comprehensive infrastructure program that wouldn’t strap local and state governments and taxpayers was a victim of the GOP tax cut, which largely benefits the wealthy.

“I’m glad the middle class gets a little in this. But it was a lost opportunity,” Brown says. “We could have used it for infrastructure, we could have given bigger tax cuts to the middle class and we could have supported our manufacturing companies, keeping them here with Buy American provisions.” 

In an interview after addressing a small-business seminar at the Akron-Canton Airport, Brown said the Trump plan reverses the traditional balance in funding infrastructure. Both he and Ohio’s Republican Sen. Rob Portman have been invited to the White House to discuss the budget.  

Portman, who supports the tax cut, challenged another part of President Trump's tax package – the drastic cut in the Great Lakes Restoration Fund from $300 million to $30 million.

Portman called the lakes "an invaluable resource to Ohio.” He says they provide drinking water to 40 million people and are worth $10 billion in tourism each year.

Another issue Congress is expected to dwell on this week is immigration reform, especially in regards to the so-called DREAMers – young adults immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children and meet work, education and other criteria.

Brown says both the individuals and communities need to resolve the situation and keep Dreamers in the U.S.

“They’re in school; they start businesses; they’re working every day,” Brown says. “Some have joined the military. They should be embraced in our country. Second, I listen to employers and I know that they’re looking for workers.”